A children’s charity, organised and directed by a board of young people, will be launched in the district later this year.
The charity will aim to support and inspire children and young people across the district, recognising the individuals and projects which make a difference to children’s lives.
It has been organised by the Wakefield Annual Charity Christmas Lunch (WACCL), which raises money to support children, charities and families across Wakefield.
Ian Taylor, one of the event’s organisers, said: “We feel that each year sadly we can only give a few awards out. That’s why creating a young person’s charity we can develop more recognition to a higher number of people.
“The idea is that we’re going to create Wakefield’s Children’s Charity, which will be a charity with a difference. A charity that young people form the district own and run, it belongs to them.
“The directive will be to have fun and create inclusive and broad opportunities for young people across the district to be involved in.”
Each year, WACCL raises more than £50,000 for local children’s charities. But despite this, Ian feels there is still work to be done.
The charity, which is expected to launch in September, will be run by a board of young people, elected by their peers, overseen by a supervisory group which would include business owners, educational experts and representatives from children’s support services.
The board would be able to organise events, raise money and select projects, charities and individuals deserving of funding, all for the benefit of Wakefield’s young people.
WACCL also host the annual Children of Achievement Awards, which celebrate the bravest and brightest children in the district.
Now in their third year, the awards honour young people, up to the age of 24, who have battled illness, excelled academically of physically, shown immense bravery and even excelled in business.
Ian said: “They’re just amazing young people and we give them the gratitude and the congratulations and the respect that they should achieve.
“We give them that opportunity and we get to meet them. It’s just very humbling to go to.
“We’re quite excited about the Children of Achievement event because it is a celebration of young people across the Wakefield district.
“It really is a very emotional time for everybody, we make the night really special for them.”
There will be ten categories at this year’s awards, including Amazing Bravery, Young Achiever in Academia, Young Minds and Young Achiever in the Arts, This year’s winners include a teenager who, despite being registered blind, is on his way to becoming an acclaimed poet. More than 300 people are expected to attend the awards evening at Wakefield Cathedral on Friday, June 21.
In the past, WACCL has supported a number of local charities, including Wakefield Theatre Performance Academy, Levi’s Star and My Burns Club.
The Star of 2019 - Sponsored by The Card Factory
Inspiring Individual - Sponsored by Ackworth School
Young Achiever in Academia - Sponsored by Wakefield College
Amazing Bravery - Sponsored by OE Electrical
Courage in Battling Illness - Sponsored by Wakefield Council
Young Ambassador - Sponsored by WDH
Young Minds - SWYT
Young Enterprise - Sponsored by Barclays Bank
Young Achiever in the Arts - Sponsored by the Wakefield Express